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Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Suspensions in New York
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will suspend or revoke your commercial driver license (CDL) for various reasons, including:
- Habitual traffic violations.
- Alcohol or drug-related offenses.
- Driving an uninsured vehicle.
- Failing to pay traffic tickets.
In addition to suspensions received from the NY DMV, you may also be subject to further court penalties. You must follow all instructions mailed to you by the New York DMV, Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB), and/or criminal court.
Do NOT drive your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) if your driving privileges are disqualified for any reason.
The period of your CDL suspension or revocation in New York will vary depending on the type of offense and the status of your NY driving record.
Your CDL will be disqualified for reasons including:
- Operating a CMV with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or higher.
- Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- Refusing a BAC test.
NOTE: When your privilege to drive a personal vehicle in New York is suspended, revoked, or canceled, your CDL will also be revoked. You will not be eligible for a hardship license to drive your CMV.
The duration of your CDL suspension will depend on the type of conviction and the status of your driving record.
In New York, your CDL can be suspended for:
- At least 1 year, for offenses including:
- Driving a CMV with a BAC of 0.04% or higher.
- Driving a passenger vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
- Driving any vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance.
- Refusing a BAC test.
- Leaving the scene of an accident without reporting it.
- At least 3 years, for committing any of the offenses above while in a CMV containing hazardous materials.
NOTE: You must notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic conviction in NY.
For a complete list of CDL suspensions/revocation periods, visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
CDL holders in New York are subject to stricter standards and more severe consequences for alcohol and drug-related traffic offenses than regular drivers.
If convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI), you will receive a CDL suspension or revocation for a specific period. Subsequent convictions can lead to permanent suspensions.
You will be charged with a DUI if you drive a commercial vehicle with a BAC of:
- 0.04% or higher, if you are 21 years old or older.
- 0.02% or higher, if you are under 21 years old.
If you refuse a chemical test as a commercial driver, your CDL will be suspended for 18 months. You will also be subject to a $550 civil penalty in order to re-apply for a new driver license.
NOTE: You may also face additional court fines and penalties.
Visit the NY DMV website for a complete list of penalties for alcohol/drug-related offenses.
If you wish to contest a suspension due to a traffic violation, you can request a hearing with the Traffic Violations Bureau (TVB). You are considered innocent until proven guilty.
To plead “not guilty” and request a hearing, visit the NYS DMV Traffic Ticket Pleas and Payments website. If your request is approved, you will be given details about your scheduled hearing.
For additional information about traffic hearings in New York, please visit the NY DMV website.
Postpone Your Hearing
If you can’t make your scheduled hearing, you must request a postponement with the TVB:
- By mail at least 10 days before your scheduled hearing.
- In person or by phone at least 1 day before your hearing.
To postpone your hearing for a traffic ticket issued within New York City:
- Mail your request to the Albany address on your ticket.
- Visit any TVB office in New York City.
- Contact the TVB at (718) 488-5710.
To postpone your hearing for a traffic ticket issued outside of New York City:
Contact a Local Attorney
- Mail your request to the TVB address listed on your ticket.
- Visit the TVB office listed on your ticket.
- Call the TVB office number on your ticket.
Get the help you need with your NY CDL suspension by finding an experienced attorney near you.
Appeal the Hearing Decision
If you want to appeal the outcome of your hearing, you must file your appeal within 30 days of the decision.
To file an appeal by mail, you will need:
- A completed Traffic Violation Bureau Appeal Form (AA-33).
- You can obtain this form from a TVB office.
- Payment for the $10 fee.
Send the above to:
Appeals Processing Unit
P.O. Box 2935
Albany, NY 12220-0935
The reinstatement process for your commercial driver license in New York will vary depending on the reason for your suspension.
For details about the general reinstatement process for suspended NY driver licenses, please visit our Suspended License in New York page.
NOTE: If you’re convicted of a serious (or repeat) traffic violation as a commercial driver, you may face additional penalties. Please refer to your suspension notice for specific details how to reinstate your CDL.
Your suspension notice will indicate exactly how much you must pay to reinstate your NY commercial driver’s license. Common reinstatement fees include:
- Definite suspensions: $50.
- Indefinite suspensions: $70.
- Out-of-state drivers (without a NY DMV license application): $25.
- Zero Tolerance Law violations: $100.
Visit the NYS DMV Guide to Suspensions & Revocations for more information.
NOTE: You may need to pay additional fines and fees depending on your offense. Refer to the correspondence you received from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, Traffic Violations Bureau, and/or criminal court for more information.
Acceptable Payment Methods
Online payments must be made using one of the following credit/debit cards:
- American Express.
Certified check or money order made payable to "Commissioner of Motor Vehicles."
Please contact your local NY DMV office to find out acceptable payment methods for transactions made in person.
If you’re eligible for a conditional or restricted-use license in New York, the NY DMV will mail you instructions on how to apply. Your suspension notice will also indicate whether or not you qualify.
NOTE: Please do NOT contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to find out about your eligibility to apply for a conditional or restricted-use license.
Conditional Driver’s License
If your CDL was suspended for an alcohol or drug-related offense, you may be eligible for a conditional license.
A conditional license can only be used to drive to and from authorized locations and cannot be used to drive a commercial vehicle.
You do NOT qualify for a conditional driver license if:
- Your judge refused to allow you to attend a Drinking Driver Program (DDP) or receive a conditional license.
- You must attend a DDP to receive a conditional license.
- You do not have a valid NYS license or one that can be renewed.
- You have already attended a DDP within the past 5 years.
- You had another alcohol or drug-related offense within the past 5 years.
Restricted Driver’s License
If your CDL was suspended for a non-alcohol or drug-related offense, you may be eligible for a restricted NY driver’s license.
You will not be eligible for a restricted license in NY if any of the following apply:
- You do not have a valid NYS license or a NYS license that can be renewed.
- Your license has been suspended for less than 30 days.
- Your judge issued a suspension based on “the authority of the judge under the law (permissive suspension).”
- Your driver’s license has been suspended on another occasion within the past 3 years.
- You can end your license suspension through your own action (i.e. by paying a fine, traffic ticket, etc.).